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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I split with my child's father when she was 16 months old as

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I split with my child's father when she was 16 months old as he told me to leave. She is now 30 months old. His name is ***** ***** birth certificate & I have always allowed him access. She sees him each Sunday, but can sometimes go between a couple of weeks or couple of months without seeing him, as he works away. She behaves differently when he is around. His interaction with her is fairly 'forced' & not natural, which could probably explain her behaviour. I do not feel that he could be trusted to look after her, should I give him the option & so I have not. He has several motoring offences & due to this I have refused to allow him to take her out in his car. He has no notion what her favourite toy is or her favourite food. When she speaks, which she does very competently & clearly, he doesn't understand her or answer her question or respond to her request. There have been many occasions when his actions have caused me concern. Once he put her in a washing basket & put her on top of the shed roof & walked away. She was telling him to 'be careful' & 'I'm precious' but he didn't listen. I immediately told him to get her down. Recently he whipped her out of the house calling behind him that they were going for 'a spin' in his car. I was in total panic mode for my daughter's safety. His mother makes scant effort to visit & is a virtual stranger to her. He will eventually want to take our child in the car a fair few miles away to see her, which I am not happy about, given his track record & her total lack of enthusiasm. My parents have been a tremendous support to me throughout all this & continue to be so. He does pay maintenance regularly. Can I apply to Court to stop him removing our child from under my roof/my care until I can see a dramatic improvement? Would I be able to make my parents Guardians of my daughter so that they too have PR for her? Please advise?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
You can refuse access but he can seek a court order entitling him to access and he will win. A court may order that contact should be supervised possibly because of her youth but it would not continue for long.
Realistically he will get unsupervised access very quickly and the court would want him to introduce her to his mother very quickly as she should have a relationship with her as well.
If he goes to court I'm afraid that you will lose control over the contact arrangements and he is likely to get much more than he currently has.
There is no prospect of getting an order to stop him removing his daughter from you until you see an improvement. You would probably get a residence order which would have that effect but he will get a contact order entitling him to access which would not depend on whether or not you see an improvement. The Court would investigate what risk he actually presents and, in truth, motoring convictions are not likely to be considered grounds.
Your parents can apply for parental responsibility to the court but it will not have the effect of denying him access or controlling access.
Equally he may not prefer a contact order as it would be on defined dates that might not suit him. Difficult to say really. If he were to go to court though he would be given far more contact and it would be away from your vision I'm afraid.
I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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